Pregnant women, especially on the second and the third trimester needs a lot of munching to do. This is to support her body and the growing baby on her tummy. Aside from the three main meals of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, she also needs the support of healthy snacks to get through the day.
With these meals, both the mother and the baby will have the nutrients and calories they need. But always remember that this is not to be used as an excuse to overeat and eat anything you want. It should always be healthy and in moderation to maintain a healthy body during pregnancy and be provided with the much-needed strength that you need as you carry your baby until delivery.
One of the best options to eat for a healthy meal during pregnancy are salads. There are different salad recipes you can choose from but you can make adjustments to meet the nutritional needs during pregnancy.
Reminder: Wash those fruits and veggies!
Yes, fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients and good for the body. But it can also be contaminated with harmful bacteria. Some of the pre-requisites are to wash and prepare and handle them safely.
- Wash raw fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water before eating or preparing them. Even fruits with inedible peeling should be washed since bacteria from the peeling may transfer to the flesh as you peel it.
- You can use a small vegetable brush if needed to remove surface dirt and hard to reach areas.
- You can dissolve two teaspoons of salt in 4 cups of warm water and let it cool. Submerged fruits and vegetables in the solution for thirty minutes. This can remove pesticides and wax residue that may be present in some fruits.
- Wash your hands and use clean knives, peelers and chopping boards when preparing the produce.
- Cut or remove damaged and bruised areas since bacteria may thrive on it.
Salads that are safe during pregnancy
- Meat and seafood salads
Unlike veggies and fruits, meat and seafood when used as ingredients for salad should be properly cooked. Raw fish and seafood has high contents of mercury which can be harmful to pregnant women. Inclusion of cooked turkey, chicken or salmon provides a daily source of protein during pregnancy. You can also opt for light canned tuna which is also low in mercury.
- Garden salads
These are some of the most common salad and is also easy to prepare. You can use different green, leafy vegetables as main ingredients that are rich in iron and folate. A richer source of these nutrients while pregnant are spinach salad.
- Fruit salads
Fresh and refreshing, fruits are generally recommended to eat during pregnancy. This is a safer and healthier substitute for your sweet cravings. Just peel and chopped, topped with yogurt and your treat is done. Stay away from cream that is high in sugar.
- Bean and grain salads
Unsalted beans are a good source of protein and iron. You can use pasta, beans, and grains as the main ingredients in your salads. You can put sweet potatoes and corn for a tasty addition. If pasta salad recipes require eggs, opt for hard-boiled eggs.
Read also: Satisfying Treats Without the Guilt: 30 Healthy Pregnancy Snacks
- Paneer salads
Soft cheese may contain listeria which is harmful during pregnancy and may cause miscarriage. If you want cheese on your salad, you can opt for paneer for a safer and yet equally delicious substitute and calcium source.
There are some foods to avoid during pregnancy. Make sure to replace them in your list of ingredients. As an example, eggs should be cooked for at least ten minutes to be safe for pregnant women. Meat, fish, and seafood should also be cooked well done. During pregnancy, avoid canned fruits and vegetables and opt for healthy salad dressings.
Salads can make an ideal lunch or dinner during pregnancy. It is filling since it is rich in fiber and keeps the body hydrated. It is also rich in nutrients that pregnant women need like calcium, folate, iron, and protein. That’s eating without the guilt. So for your next satisfying meal, just choose your favorite veggies and fruits, chopped and toss and you’re ready to go.
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